Suspension for the Italian Football Star Francesco Flachi

By: Emeli Dean

The Italian football player Francesco Flachi's negative verdict of a sixteen month suspension was already pronounced last year but hadn't been made definite because the Italian Olympic Committee had raised an objection. The reason for the verdict was the failure of a drug test taken from the 31-year-old forward after a home game from his team U.C. Sampdoria against the Italian champion Inter Milan on January 28th 2007. The founded drug was cocaine. Flachi declared back then that the drug had been in a cigarette which an unknown person offered him. After over one year the International Court of Arbitration for Sport has officially confirmed the suspension and increased it even to a two year ban.

In the past years Flachi already hit one or two headlines. After finding out that Flachi and some of his team mates had passed on internal information about possible game moves to gamblers in September 2006 the Italian Football League suspended him for two month.

Football is today one of the most popular and worldwide most played sport and doping is extremely rare. That's what we thought but actually not the truth. In the past years there were detected several cases all over the world. Within the Football World Cups there were so far four international players tested positive: 1974 Ernest Jean Joseph from Haiti, 1978 Willie Johnston from Scotland, 1986 Ramon Caldere from Spain and 1994 the back then 33-year-old Football icon Diego Maradona from Argentina failed a drug test as well. In his blood was found a high dose of the substance Ephedrin. Maradona was also having drug problems in his private live. In 2000 he even suffered from a heart attack caused by an overdose of cocaine.

Some cases have appeared in Germany as well. Of course everybody first denied any contact with this topic but several former football players and coaches confessed that they were involved in doping. The former football player and one of the worldwide best keepers in the '80s Harald Anton Schumacher, who everybody just called Toni, published 1987 as a form of interim result of his career the book "Kickoff" with the subtitle "Disclosure about the German Bundesliga".

The today 54-year-old had made several reproaches to players, coaches and functionaries. He wrote for example that Eike Immel is a compulsive gambler, Olaf Thon is a lazy player and Paul Breitner is a smoker and drinker. He wrote as well about the topic doping in the Bundesliga. He admitted that he was trying out drugs in the practice. His statement was that he wanted it to stop. After that the drug test was introduced. But not everyone wanted to just accept his statements so he had has to bear the consequences.

After a board-meeting of the German Football Association the former president declared that Schumacher will not draft in the national team anymore due to the existing situation. After his 15-year career with the German Club 1.FC Koln he also had to leave his team and switched abroad.

In the past month more and more former players began to speak and start to remember that players in their vicinity were taking incited substances.

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